Lewis Hamilton has left McLaren for Mercedes. The bird has finally flown from the nest to find a new home. I know that sounds WAY too dramatic, but in the case of Lewis Hamilton and McLaren, it seems apt.
Lewis Hamilton’s love affair with McLaren began way back when he was only 10 years old when he told Ron Dennis that he will drive under him some day. 3 years later Lewis was signed up with McLaren who have nurtured his talent ever since. Working for Lewis has been a second home ever since. However, the ever since part, now THAT is coming to an end. Lewis has signed up with Mercedes and what had once seemed to be a permanent alliance is now over.
I am a huge fan of Lewis Hamilton! The way he stormed into F1, in his very first season putting up a brave fight against the two time (cocky) world champion Fernando Alonso (Who I never liked anyways) and making him lose his cool! Now THAT is the kind of debut you want! Lewis Hamilton is a driver above and beyond anybody else in terms of speed! Put everyone in the same car and even though Alonso might be the smartest man in the car, Lewis will definitely the fastest.
And there lies the problem for McLaren. The speed that Lewis Hamilton has is apparent to everybody, his talent behind the car is exemplary. Lewis Hamilton is considered one of the three great drivers of our generation. Yet after scraping through to the 2008 world championship at the very last corner, Lewis has never been a contender for the championship again. The fault here, for the most part, lies with McLaren.
Every season it has been the same story for McLaren. At the beginning their car is off the pace, however as the season progresses the car is developed till it becomes the quickest car around. It’s been the sorry state of affairs at McLaren that constantly frustrated Lewis, obviously the fastest driver of them all. The rise and rise of Sebastien Vettel to F1 greatness and his two world championships is another. For the guy tagged as the fastest of them all, not being the fastest every time he sits behind the wheel is an insult to his talent.
So even though a move to Mercedes, a team that has only won one race since it’s comeback, is a step backwards, it still is the perfect step for Lewis. He hopes to do what Michael Schumacher did for Ferrari, to create a world championship winning team under him. It’s a gamble all right, a big one. But I guess winning a few races every season is not what Lewis really wants. Dominating like Senna, his (and my!) idol, is what he really wants. To be a multiple world champion, to leave behind a great legacy. It’s understandable then why he moved to Mercedes, he realises that Mclaren is too proud to admit it needs change. The lack of innovation from the team year after year must have been frustrating indeed for Lewis openly courted Red Bull and Adrian Newey back in Canada 2011.
So in the end I am hoping, just like a lot of Lewis Hamilton fans, that he has made the right move. Lewis Hamilton is a great driver, but not the greatest yet. I sincerely hope that by the end of his career, he is right at the top of the F1 hall of fame!